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07 June 2023

UAE SMEs more resilient compared to global counterparts

Dubai offers excellent opportunity for growing number of SMEs to set up and operate their business at ease. (Supplied)

By Joseph George

The survival instincts of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are set up in the UAE are much higher than global standards.

This was revealed by Alexander Williams, Director of Strategy and Policy Division, at Dubai SME during the two-day SME Beyond Borders conference in Dubai.

According to him, the most important issue faced by any new SME that’s struggling to survive in year or so after set up is the non-availability of funding.

“Secure necessary funding and always take on an investor or a partner on board,” he says adding that although the failure rate of SMEs in the country could be on par with global standards, the resilience seen here is much higher compared to anywhere else in the world.

“In fact UAE and especially Dubai offers an excellent opportunity for the growing number of SMEs to set up and operate their business at ease. SMEs in fact are the lifeline of our economy,” he says.

There are more than 200,000 SMEs in the UAE and majority of them or close to 45 per cent of them are registered in Dubai.

Even an organisation like Emirates airlines functions with the support base of about 3000 SMEs, he said.

Arjan Oude Kotte, Director Small and Medium Business, Microsoft Middle East and Africa, said that although there is a reluctance among SMEs to adopt latest technological solutions, his own organization has seen a good increase in numbers.

“Our own percentage of SME customers adopting to cloud is experiencing an annual growth of 20 per cent,” he said.